7 digital recreations of the ancient world’s lost bathhouses
Some call it the throne room. For others, it’s where they do their best thinking. Most people want to get in and out as quickly as possible.
We’re talking about the bathroom.
Our relationship with this most private space goes back to the dawn of modern civilization. But, as these latest designs from QS Supplies show, the bathrooms and bathhouses our ancestors used were a little less ‘private’ than what we’ve become accustomed to.
Find out why by checking out these seven digital recreations of history’s greatest bathhouses.
Baths of Caracalla
Built in Rome 2,000 years ago, the Baths of Caracalla was a 300-acre bathhouse with all the (pre)modern facilities you need. There was even a library and restaurants. This was the original spa day experience. But there was one big drawback: up to 8,000 Romans visited the baths daily!
The Great Bath of Pakistan
Mohenjo-Daro – or The Great Bath of Pakistan – was the world’s first public bathhouse. It was a place to relax and soak up more than just a few suds. Perched atop the highest point of Indus City, the Great Bath offered breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains. Would have picked up loads of 5-star TripAdvisor reviews- if the internet and TripAdvisor existed in the third millennium BC.
The Roman Emperor Hadrian wasn’t as decadent as some of his predecessors. But he still had a taste for luxury. His palace included a colossal bathing area with a sauna, plunge pool, and underfloor heating. The columns were positioned to catch the high afternoon sun. A stunning spot, but plebs like us would never have seen it; Hadrian’s bathhouse was for royal use only.
The Romans who built the Basilica Therma bathhouse near Sarıkaya, Turkey, knew their craft. Because 2,000 years later, its thermal heating fountains are still working. Pilgrims travelled thousands of miles to visit the baths. And they didn’t trek to Basilica just for ‘the chill.’ The fountains are said to have magical healing properties.
The Roman Baths of Odessos, Varna
The Romans brought many things with them when they arrived in Bulgaria, including public baths. Having somewhere to chill at the end of a hard day wouldn’t have made up for all the conquering and pillaging. Still, the Odessos bathhouse was pretty impressive. And it was ahead of its time. Odessa Baths were one of the first Roman bathhouses to let women in before midday.
Barbara Baths, Trier, Germany
The QS designers had to get creative with this one, because there isn’t much of Barbara Baths left. But one thing is for sure: these baths were big. The ruins stretch across an area the size of six football pitches.
Roman Baths, Bath, England
No prizes for guessing where the Roman Town of Bath gets its name from! This quaint English town is a tourist hotspot and home to Europe’s best-preserved ancient baths. Great place for a day out. But you can’t soak or swim. Just admire.
These bathhouses might look beautiful, but we’ll take a room under the stairs with a lock on the door all day. Some things should be kept private. Now please excuse me; I have some delicate business to attend to!
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